US religious leader comes to Australia to fight climate change Media Release

Sep 21, 2007 - 4:09am

The Climate Institute is bringing inspirational religious and environmental leader, Reverend Sally Bingham to Australia to help galvanize the faith-based response to climate change.

Rev’d Bingham will be hosting a series of seminars in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia over the coming days on faith and climate change.

Rev’d Bingham is the priest and the environmental minister at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She heads an eco faith network, Interfaith Power and Light, which includes 4,000 congregations of many different faiths with affiliates in 23 states and has also supported Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s leading climate change policies. Sally brings both spiritual motivation and practical advice on how we can set up or build on similar interfaith eco networks here in Australia.

“There are already a number of religious leaders in Australia who see climate change as a moral and ethical issue and they have been quite vocal in calling on Governments to take action to protect future generations and the world’s most disadvantaged from the effects of climate change”, said Climate Institute Chief Executive John Connor.

In December 2006, the Climate Institute released Common Belief, a collection of statements on climate change from a range of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Aboriginal spiritual leaders.

Rev. Bingham and California Interfaith Power and Light have actively supported both global warming bills that passed in California, including a letter signed by 160 clergy calling for a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

“Global warming is one of the biggest threats facing humanity today. The very existence of life - life that religious people are called to protect - is jeopardized by our continued dependency on fossil fuels for energy. Every mainstream religion has a mandate to care for creation. We were given natural resources to sustain us, but we were also given the responsibility to act as good stewards and preserve life for future generations. “

“To say it differently, I believe that the people in the pews are the ones who should be leading the movement to care for creation. We are the people who profess a love of God and God's world. As such we must be stewards and caretakers of the Earth - but to date, we have not done a very good job.” Said Rev. Bingham.

“Rev’d Bingham’s message is one of faith in action, that the moral challenge of climate change can inspire a renewed sense of connection to nature and human communities, whatever their faith.  It is a message of hope and inspiration that we are proud to support” concluded Mr Connor.

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